If you've ever thought about trying snowboarding, chances are you have heard of a snow board stomp pad. But how much to do you actually know about the pad and why it is an essential part of the equipment? Here's a few basic facts about a stomp pad and how it is used.
When getting off a chairlift and onto a snowboard, only one foot is actually in the binding. Your other foot has to rest on the snowboard itself until you can come to a complete stop and strap it into the binding. Sometimes you will need to make a turn as you leave the chairlift. This is where the stomp pad comes into play. The pad helps prevent your free foot from sliding all along the surface of the snowboard while you are making the turn.
Utilized to help you get traction on the surface of your snowboard, the stomp pad is adhered to the board with an adhesive. The topside of the pad will also be somewhat sticky, allowing your free foot a place to step and not slip around. Ideally, the pad will be placed toward the rear binding so that you can step directly onto the pad and ease your foot into the proper position to bind it to the board.
In addition to helping you dismount gracefully from a chairlift without ending up on the ground, the stomp pad also is useful for helping to remove any accumulation of snow that may have built up on your snowboard boots. By using the pad to scrape any snow or ice fragments before you strap in the foot, you make sure there is nothing that will interfere with your ability to control the direction of the board.
Typically, snowboards come with a stomp pad. If your board does not have one, it is a good idea to purchase one and adhere it to the board yourself. As the pads do need to be changed from time to time, the pads are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, so go ahead and purchase several.
When affixing the stomp pad to your snowboard, make sure to not simply stick it in place and consider it done. Press down on the pad for a few seconds, making sure the pad does adhere to the board with no wrinkles or puffs in the pad. Do not remove the paper protector from the top of the pad until you are sure the bottom is firmly holding to your board.
It is a good idea to make a few trial runs with using the stomp pad before you get on a chairlift. Make sure you have a good feel for where your foot should be and get used to the way the pad provides the traction for your boot. Ideally, you should be so comfortable with this process that you do not have to watch what you are doing. Those extra seconds it takes to eyeball maneuvering your foot into place and securing the bindings can cost you valuable time during a competition.
Snowboarding is a great sport and one that can provide a lot of enjoyment. If you really want to get the most out of the experience, make sure you know how to install and use a snowboard stomp pad.